Burke County Public Schools, North Carolina

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Burke County Public Schools, North Carolina
Morganton, NC
BCPS logo.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Larry Putnam
Graduation rate:82.5%
Number of schools:27
Budget: $90 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Randy Burns
Board members:7
Term length:4
Burke County Public Schools is a school district in North Carolina that serves the city of Morganton. It is the 28th largest school district in North Carolina, serving 13,139 students in 27 schools with an operating budget of $90 million.[1]

About the district

Burke County Public Schools is located in Burke County, North Carolina
Burke County Public Schools is located in Morganton, North Carolina and is the district for Burke County. Burke County is home to 90,912 residents.[2]


Burke County underperformed in comparison to the rest of North Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2011. The United States Census Bureau found that 15.6% of Burke County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 26.5% for North Carolina as a whole. The median household income in Burke County was $37,440 compared to $46,291 for the state of North Carolina. The poverty rate in Burke County was 18.7% compared to 16.8% for the entire state.

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Burke County (%) North Carolina (%)
White 86.7 71.9
Black or African American 6.8 22.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 3.6 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.6 0.1
Two or More Races 1.5 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 5.7 8.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[3]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 39.3 59.8
2008 40.0 59.0
2004 61.4 38.3
2000 58.2 41.1

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[4]


Larry Putnam is the current superintendent of Burke County Public Schools. He was named interim superintendent in August 2011 and officially named superintendent in 2012 by a unanimous board vote. Putnam has a Master's degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University, an Educational Specialist degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education and Business Administration from Appalachian State University. He earned his superintendents license in 2004 and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Putnam has worked in Burke County Public Schools as both a teacher and a principal for more than 14 years.[5]

School board

The Burke County Public Schools Board of Education is composed of seven members serving four-year terms.[6]

Burke County Public Schools
Randy Burns Eastern District 2015
Sam Wilkinson Eastern District 2017
Buddy Armour Central District 2017
Catherine Redman Thomas Western District 2017
Edna Weller Western District 2015
Don Hemstreet Central District 2015
R. L. Icard At-large 2015

School board elections

See also: Burke County Schools elections (2013)

Members of the Burke County Public Schools Board of Education are elected to four-year terms. Each election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years. Four seats are up for election in November 2015 and three seats are up for election in November 2017.


Burke County Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[7]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $71,802,294 79% $2,671,570 2.9% $14,487,859 15.9% $0 0% $1,894,622 2.1% $90,856,345
Averages: $71,802,294 79% $2,671,570 3% $14,487,859 16% $0 0% $1,894,622 2% $90,856,345

Teacher salaries

Burke County Public Schools employed 803 K-12 teachers during the 2011-2012 school year.[8]

The following table details the 2014-2015 starting salary schedule for classroom teachers in North Carolina public schools. Salaries are assigned based on class level of a teacher's license, their experience level and area of assignment. Those who currently hold National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification receive a higher salary.[9][10]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Bachelor's 33,000 50,000
Bachelor's + NBPTS 36,960 56,000
Master's 36,300 55,000
Master's + NBPTS 40,260 61,000
6-Year 37,560 56,260
6-Year + NBPTS 41,520 62,260
Doctoral 38,830 57,530
Doctoral + NBPTS 42,790 63,530

Schools in Burke County Public Schools


The district served 13,139 K-12 students during the 2013-2014 school year. The district experienced an 3.5% decrease in enrollment between 2011 and 2013. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2011 and 2013:

Total enrollment[11]
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2011-2012 13,619
2012-2013 13,371 -1.7
2013-2014 13,139 -1.7

District schools

Burke County Public schools operates 27 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

Burke County Public Schools
Burke Middle College
Chesterfield Elementary School
Drexel Elementary School
East Burke High School
East Burke Middle School
Forest Hil Elementary School
Freedom High School
George Hildebrand Elementary School
Glen Alpine Elementary School
Hallyburton Academy
Heritage Middle School
Hildebran Elementary School
Icard Elementary School
Jimmy C. Draughn High School
Liberty Middle School
Mountain Crest Elementary School
Mull Elementary School
North Liberty School
Oak Hill Elementary School
Ray Childers Elementary School
Robert L. Patton High School
Rutherford College Elementary School
Salem Elementary School
Table Rock Middle School
Valdese Elementary School
W.A. Young Elementary School
Walter Johnson Middle School

Academic performance

Burke County Public Schools has higher SAT averages than North Carolina overall. In 2012, the district average for 1600 and 2400 SAT raw scores were 1002 and 1470 respectively while the state averages were 997 and 1469.[13] With a district average of 18, the mean ACT score was consistent with the state average score of 18.2.[14]

Adequate Yearly Progress

Academic performance for the district is available via Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports. These reports are measurements defined by the United States federal No Child Left Behind Act that allow the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically according to results on standardized tests. Twelve out of 27 schools in the Burke County Public Schools met the AYP in North Carolina from 2010-2011.[15]

Contact information

BCPS logo.png
Burke County Public Schools

700 East Parker Road
PO Drawer 989
Morganton, NC 28680

Phone: (828)-439-4312

See also

External links

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